Reviewed: October 1999
Released: 1999, Spitfire Records
Crimson Glory has made a one hell of a GLORIOUS return to the throne of American metal. This is more proof that true metal’s popularity is gaining in momentum. Crimson Glory’s “Astronimica” also brings us the latest chapter in the un-going saga of 80’s bands that have re-united. Whether or not this is to cash in on the resurgence in popularity of power / prog / true metal who cares…these guys can play and this is pure metal!
Astronomica begins with an intro that sounds like a more melodic 90’s version of Metallica’s intro to “Am I Evil?” When the second track cuts in with the vocals screaming “War of the Worlds” all you Ripper Owens fans will be grinning from ear to ear!! This is easily the best song on the CD! New vocalist Wade Black is definitely sounding similar to Ripper on this track, and in other places on the CD. Black, although as good a singer, doesn’t have the same vocal style as former Crimson Glory vocalist Midnight which may put off some older diehard fans. For those open to change, the highlights on the CD include the prog-piece “New World Machine”, “Touch The Sun” (ya just got to love the main riff in this one), the vicious “Lucifer’s Hammer” and “Cyber-Christ” if only for the Pinhead quotes (Hellraiser’s Pinhead is a god!!! haha). If you’ve heard the CD then you’ll know that these are the most aggressive tracks out of the lot. Although all songs are great, there are a couple of acoustic parts and “ballad” sections in some songs. Don’t worry, after a few listens you’ll appreciate it more as it fits in nicely with the theme of the CD and the rest of the music. I do however prefer the up-tempo stuff, after all this is METAL! Lyrically, this is concerns very cool stuff…pyramids, aliens, the supposed relationship between the pyramids and the Cydonia region on Mars, the evils of technology, etc.. In terms of comparisons, if you like the new Priest and older (and heavier) Queensryche, then getting into Crimson Glory is by no means a stretch! This is a great comeback for a band that has been remembered by many and who have been cited by many later day bands as being a key influence.
For those who are familiar with the original Crimson Glory line-up, all original members are present with the exception the original vocalist and drummer. New on vocals is Wade Black and on drums is the well known Steve “Doc” Wacholz. Wacholz’s name should be automatically recognizable by Savatage fans out there as he was their drummer from 1984 to 1996! So check out Astronomica and find out what real American metal is all about (or at least should be)!
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